Welcome! I'm Sky and I am a multidisciplinary artist in the pursuit of creating empathetic, human-centric, cross-cultural artistic projects. I am currently living, making, and designing new creative projects in New York as a newly graduated student in BFA Design & Technology from Parsons School of Design with a minor in Immersive Storytelling. I have experience in haptic sculptural design, projection mapping, concept design, UX/UI, and illustration.
Jamie Lauren Keiles
LivingRoom is a personal online archive of encouraging voice messages in the form of a mobile website. Now more than ever, connecting with your loved one through distance/distancing and across time zones has become a relevant part of life for many. With LivingRoom, you can start a personal collection of positive affirmations from those you hold dear.
Side note: this app is NOT an emergency intervention solution.
The reason I want to make an archival direct for voice messages is that— Since I began my journey of studying and living abroad (around 8 years ago), I’ve always had trouble connecting with my friends and family. It is due to many conflicts such as our study, work circumstances, daily schedules, and time differences.
Notably, at the beginning of last year, there was an extended period of time I spent in complete isolation, some issues I was experiencing previously became more and more prominent and had a greater impact on my mental wellness:
- The lack of physical contact with loved ones.
- Delays and interruptions from unstable connections.
- The challenges in adapting to an environment and way of life that were completely unfamiliar.
- Online and offline interactions that reconfirm negative self-beliefs.
The previously listed constraints motivated me to make an online space that is encouraging and supportive, with my loved ones being the focal influence, a space that I can revisit and feel at home. Some of the questions I was exploring were:
- What are the pros and cons of common communication apps?
- How do I create an online communication space that reflects the intimate dynamic of real-life social relations?
- How do I create an online space that promotes communication in regard to distance/ time zone differences?
- How do I create an online space where users are encouraged to support each other’s mental health?
Based on my circumstances that inspire this project, most of my research is related to the mental health of college and international students and digital apps.
Mobile apps available the market:
In my research, I looked up mobile apps supporting mental health, specifically with the keyword “depression” and “loneliness” and found the listed overarching themes.
- Therapeutic exercises/meditations (E.g: Headspace)
- Professional help (e.g: BetterHelp)
- Community of people interested in topic alike (e.g: TalkLife)
- AI chatbot/talking sim (e.g: Wysa, Replica)
- Emergency (e.g: notOK)
On these apps, you spend time working on your own, or with strangers (either people who are experiencing similar issues or with a professional)-- personally, I find myself in a more depressed headspace reading post from people similar to me or constantly put off the commitment of connecting with a professional. All have their pros and cons and can help in different ways, but all of them lead to working on yourself alone or with strangers.
In an interview, I listened to a day through the life of a person who has experienced Dysthymia, they mentioned that sometimes, they want to hear affirmative words without having to repeat themselves about their negative experiences. I also looked into Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and its effort to challenge personal irrational beliefs by dealing with one’s negative assumptions. In a study made by WHO with a sample size of over 13,000 college students, 35% reported at least a lifetime disorder (such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse). Female and 19+ years old college students were more likely to experience a lifetime or 12-month-long-period mental health issue in the statistics. The result of the survey I conducted among my peers showed that their trusted contacts are relatively far from them and they sometimes send voice messages.